Harshal Patel has become one of the vital cogs in the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) bowling attack ever since his record-breaking campaign for the franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL) last year. Harshal had taken IPL 2021 by a storm with his impressive performances as he went on to bag the Purple Cap for finishing as the highest wicket-taker of the season.
Harshal picked up 32 wickets in 15 matches to equal Dwayne Bravo’s record of most wickets in a single IPL season. He was exceptional in the death overs and used his variations extremely well to trouble the best of batters. Harshal used his ability to take the pace off his deliveries and slower ones to deceive batters at crucial junctures during matches.
Harshal recently appeared on talk-show host Gaurav Kapoor’s show ‘Breakfast with Champions’ where he recalled how he was praised by the likes of Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli for his brilliant slower ones. Harshal revealed how Maxwell told him ‘mate, no way they are hitting this’ after he faced some slower ones from the right-arm pacer in the nets.
“AB, Virat and Maxi have said that (it is impossible to catch his slower ball out of the hand). So I bowled a few slower balls to Maxi and he comes out of the nets and says, ‘mate, no way they are hitting this.’ When people like him, Virat or AB say that, you think, ‘if they are not seeing it out of the hand, who else can?’ Huge confidence booster,” said Harshal on the show.
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Harshal, who was tarded from Delhi Capitals to RCB ahead of IPL 2021 last year, was bought by the franchise at his base price of Rs 20 lakh (INR 2 million). He was released by RCB ahead of the mega auction this year only to be bought back for a whopping Rs 10.75 crore (INR 107.5 million).
Harshal, who is one of the key members of the RCB squad at present, has been impressive once again with the ball this season. The pacer has picked up nine wickets in seven matches so far this season and has helped RCB in ensuring they are in the hunt for a spot in the playoffs under new skipper Faf du Plessis.
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RCB have five wins in eight matches so far this season and will be looking to bag their sixth win when they take on Rajasthan Royals at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Tuesday.